The Development of Australian Culture in the XX Century: Australian Film Industry

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This article represents the first attempt in Ukraine of complex interdisciplinary investigation of the history of Australian film development in the XX-th century in the context of Australian culture. Analysing films in historical order the peculiarities of each decade are taken into consideration. The periods of silent films, sound films and colour films are analysed. The best film productions, their film directors and prominent actors are outlined. Special attention is paid to the development of feature films and documentaries.

The article concentrates on the development of different film genres beginning with national historical drama, films of the first pioneers’ survival, adventure films. It is shown how they contribute to the embodiment in films of the main archetypes of Australian culture, the development of Australian identity. After World War I and World War II war films appear to commemorate the courage of the Australian soldiers in the war fields. Later on the destiny of the Australian women white settlers’ wives or native Australians inspired film directors to make them the chief heroines of their movies.

A comparative analysis of films and literary primary sources underlying their scripts is carried out. It is concluded that the Australian directors selected the best examples of Australian national poetry and prose, which reveal the historical and social, cultural and racial problems of the country's development during the twentieth century.

The publication dwells on boom and bust periods of Australian film making. The governmental policy in this sphere is analysed. Different schemes of film production and distribution are outlined to make national film industry compatible with the other film industries of the world, especially with the Hollywood. The area of a new discipline - Australian Film Studios - is studied as well as the works of Australian scholars. It is clarified in what Australian universities this discipline is taught. It is assumed that the experience of Australia in this sphere should be taken by Ukraine.


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Zernetska, O. (2020) “The Development of Australian Culture in the XX Century: Australian Film Industry”, Problems of World History, (11), pp. 174–200. doi: 10.46869/2707-6776-2020-11-10.
Author Biography

O. Zernetska

Zernetska Olga – Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor, Head of the Department of Global and Civilization Processes of the State Institution “Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”


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